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Egypt’s Morsi Appoints Vice President in Major Top Brass Reshuffle

RIA Novosti

23:42 12/08/2012

CAIRO, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - Egypt’s president on Sunday named the deputy head of the Cassation Court, Mahmoud Mekki, as the country’s vice president.

During strongman Hosni Mubarak's 29-year rule, Mekki publicly spoke against election fraud.

Islamist president Morsi on Sunday made the boldest move so far to seize back powers that the military stripped from his office right before he took over. Morsi deposed the country's powerful defense minister and a top military officer, pushing them into "retirement" but naming them as presidential advisors, state television announced.

Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the defense minister who headed the military council that ruled Egypt for 17 months after the 2011 ouster of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak, and the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sami Anan, "will be sent to retirement," state-run Nile Television reported Sunday evening.

In a statement read out by official presidential spokesperson, Yasser Aly, on state television Sunday, Morsi also announced the cancelation of military-declared constitutional amendments that granted the top generals wide powers previously reserved for the head of state.

Morsi will release a new constitutional decree that will “allow him to exercise full presidential powers”, the official announcement said.

President Morsi, who was elected in June, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Relations between the Brotherhood and the military have been tense since the fall of Mubarak.

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